Judiciary

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Judge John Owens has looked to Game of Thrones to illustrate points in at least two opinions that he has written for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco.

In the most recent opinion, Owens used the reference to express his dissatisfaction with the show’s final season, report Law360, CNN and CNET.

In his decision for the court, Owens ruled that a trust beneficiary could bring a class action against the Northern Trust Co. for allegedly investing trust assets in its own funds portfolio rather than in better, outside investments.

Owens cited the 2014 Supreme Court decision Chadbourne & Parke v. Troice and said it required a finding that the class action was not barred by a federal law that limits the filing of federal securities class actions.

“We will not render Troice meaningless the way that Game of Thrones rendered the entire Night King storyline meaningless in its final season,” Owens wrote at page 15 of the July 5 opinion.

Owens was referring to the knifing death of one of the show’s biggest villains by Arya Stark following a longtime buildup, the articles explain.

In a prior Game of Thrones reference, Owens wrote in a concurrence that the 9th Circuit was using a standard for willfulness in wage-claim cases that came dangerously close to a “qyburnian resurrection” of an old standard. Above the Law, Nossaman and Ars Technica covered that June 2016 opinion.

Qyburn had brought back to life a poisoned character known as the Mountain, Ars Technica explains.

Owens is an appointee of President Barack Obama. He joined the court in April 2014 at age 42, making him one of the court’s youngest appointees, according to this press release. He is a former federal prosecutor and a former litigation partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson. He graduated first in his class at Stanford Law School.

Hat tip to @JimmyHofferDC, @ABAEsq and @AnnMLipton.